Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finals Advice - From students who have been there!

-Starting studying early - not 1 or 2 days before like in high school.

-Go to all review sessions and office hours during the last week of school and reading days.

-Make a schedule of when you're studying for which finals, and deadlines for what you need to go over for each final.  You don't have to stick to your schedule perfectly, but you want to ensure you have enough time to study what you need to.

-Focus on practice exams: Make sure you have all the practice tests you'll need at least a couple days before your final.  You don't want to realize you don't have any practice tests the night before a final, so you're scrambling to email friends.

-Don't forget that even though class is over, your Professors and/or TAs will most likely be willing to meet with you (outside of or after group review sessions) if you're struggling with any exam material.

-Download SelfControl to your computer to block your most distracting websites. You can set however long you want to block them for (from 15 minutes to as long as 24 hours). Its a miracle worker.

-If you don't understand things, study with people who are smarter than you, and don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask them questions. People like to help other people because it makes them feel good about themselves and also helps them study by teaching you. Everyone wins.

-Study in Houston Hall. During finals, its open 24/7, and from 9pm-7am, they have free coffee right outside the crepe place. Also, every night they walk around and give out little goodie bags of snacks and highlighters. They also have free food all night, like veggie platters, rice crispy treats, Einstein's bagels and shmear, and so much more!

-Even if your class doesn't allow you to make a cheat sheet - make a cheat sheet anyway to study off of! The simple act of thinking about what is important enough to write and understanding it enough to write something down that makes sense to you is very helpful.

-TAKE BREAKS! Don't try to study for 7 hours straight because you might get burned out and not be productive for your later finals. A good rule of thumb is to take a 10-minute breather every hour (walk around the hall, get a drink...) then take a longer break after several hours. If you find you are getting distracted sooner than 50 min, take two 5 min breaks every hour.

-There is such a thing as overstudying. If you feel like you're set for studying for a particular class, then you probably are. Use the time to either study for other exams or rest.

-Sleep the night before the exam, especially for exams like physics or math. Staying up all night and cramming, and not being able to think during the exam is more detrimental than maybe not being as prepared as you would like.

-Lastly, school might seem like everything when you're in the moment, but remember at the end of the day, life goes on, and after it’s all over YOU GET ALMOST THREE WHOLE WEEKS OFF!

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